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The call comes minutes after his shift, as he was shuffling out of the bar, as if it was waiting for him. You have to see it, was all Gabriel would say, and although Harvestman put up the grump act, he wasn't against going. Gabe had been there for him all the times he didn't deserve it, and even though Harvestman was thoroughly done with Brisbane and everything the man put him through, Gabe was still going through the layers. He owed the Were that, at least.

He texts Arashi quick - off to see gabe. be home soon. - without bothering him with the details of where and what. He'd worry and he'd argue, and Harvestman wasn't planning on lingering. Much as he was willing to be supportive, he wasn't going to be drawn back into the mess that Micah left in his wake. Once he had suggested of going to the headquarters of what was now Gabriel's hunters, and Arashi's horrified response nixed any thought of bringing it up again. But the place was nothing like he imagined Arashi thought; from the outside it looked like a generic brick office building with few windows, and other than the wards few could see and the reinforced  steel on the doors and walls, the inside was rather similar. The reinforcements were standard; Brisbane, for all his hidden darkness, had always opersated with the goal of helping human and other alike, unlike so many others.

The wards are still keyed to recognize him as he enters, the codes on the keypad still the same. The smell of blood hits him first and freezes him, the unnatural silence that follows it causing him to step back. He reaches for his phone, pulling Arashi's info on screen and about to tap the call button, when a sound does reach his ears; the soft, distressed crying of someone trying to keep quiet.

He enters at a run and doesn't see the first body that trips him, recovering before he hits the ground to turn it over, his gut twisting before he even sees the face. It's Joan Kiel, a human woman who specialized in recovering missing children. She had three kids and normally was based in Montana. He worked with her often. When she laughed at him, which she did a lot, it was always with kindness.

The next body is Montague. While Joan looked as if she hadn't seen it coming, Monty lay twisted as if caught in trying to take action. He had no weapons on him - he never did as a demonologist, his job was just to try to understand. He was twenty-six. Harvestman never got around to asking if his boyfriend ever proposed to Monty or not.

He finds Gabriel alive, still bleeding from a head wound, his phone lying smashed beside him. Harvestman drags him behind a desk for cover and moves on. He finds a few more bodies he doesn't recognize -  a young priest and a half-formed Were - and steps over him regretfully. Someone should know their names, someone should mourn them, but he was still following the sounds of sobbing, still listening for whoever killed the ones the lay silent.

The twins are next. Mereiya was alive and awake, her tattoos glowing bright blue and kneeling as if posed, the quiet sobbing sounds turning out to be her attempts to breathe and sob at the same time, her throat all twisted up. Marn's body lay twisted before her, his fleshed withered and withdrawn as one would find on an old corpse, his chest hollow and burned. That was how Harvestman would end up, if he died with his body intact, his true death revealed in the corpse he would leave behind.

He kneels in from of her and clasps his hands on her shoulders, but it was as if she was a statue; she did not move. The tattoos in her skin made it impenetrable, her strength and power making her impossible to hurt. But  Marn had lost his magic in his turning, and stayed the same while she grew. Nothing meant more to her than her brother. Nothing he could do could save her from this.

"Mereiya," he whispered, trying to shake her. His fingers slipped off of her completely in the attempt. "Oh, god. Mereiya?"

"He told me not to move." It comes out of her throat in a hiss, her lips barely moving. "He - he killed - "

"I know," he says softly, stroking her cheek. "I know, I know, I'm so sorry. Where is he? Who's left?"

She sucked in a breath with a whimper. "The children are... in the library. Dallas - Dallas..."

Harvestman froze. No. No!

"Where is she?" he hissed. "Where is my daughter?"

"His office." Her eyes slide over to his with effort. "Don't let him - don't let him."

'I won't." He stood, shaking, with fear and rage and sorrow.  "I'm coming back, okay? I won't leave you behind."

She said nothing, but he didn't her to speak anymore. He began to run again, his feet hardly making any sound. He knew where the office was. He had known everything about Brisbane, everything but this. The Brisbane he knew would never do this, never hurt people who had trusted and relied on him, no matter how bad things got. He didn't know who he was confronting anymore, or what would happen. He didn't have a choice.

The office was big and empty and quiet. He walks in, knowing it to be the trap it was, and stops when he hears a click. He turns, expecting a gun, and stops breathing when he sees what it is instead.

Brisbane sat at his desk, one hand gripping a dagger and wearing a look of patience on his face. Charlie stood next to him, her expression blank. She had a gun in one hand and was pressing it against her own head, her finger on the trigger.

"No," he whispers.

"Hello, John." Brisbane stands slowly, and sighs, like they were having a normal conversation. "I'm sorry about this. You won't believe me, but I am. I didn't want to do this."

"Please." He raises his shaking hands halfway, palms up and open. "Please, Micah, you promised me."

Brisbane nodded at the door as he slowly circled the desk. "I promised them too. I promised to protect them. I promised so many things, John. I tried so hard."

"Why are you doing this?" Harvestman moved a little too fast, and with a jerk of Brisbane's head, Charlie twitched, the gun pressing harder into her head.

"I don't have a choice." Brisbane looked as calm as ever, but there was something wrong with his eyes. They flickered back and forth between calm and pain, like a switch being flicked back and forth. "It was decided long ago, before I was born, before you were born. This is how they play the game."

"They?" Harvestman lowers his shaking hands and brushes one against his pocket, trying desperately to somehow get the call to Arashi to go through. He doesn't know if his fumbling succeeded; there's nothing more he can do.

"She said it would have to be spelled out to you, but I can't do that, John. It's against the rules." Brisbane reaches up, cupping a hand to the side of his face. Harvestman shudders, keeping his eyes open and focused on Charlie.

"Don't hurt her," he whispers.

Brisbane leans in close and brushes their lips together, and it's all he can do not to try to sink his teeth in deep. He can feel the dagger pressing against his ribs and tries not to breathe to hard. "IIf I promise you I won't, will you believe me?"

"Go to hell." When Brisbane pushes him back against the wall he doesn't resist. When he kisses him, hard, Harvestman closes his eyes and does nothing.

"I want you to live," Brisbane mutters into his neck, his free hand slipping under Harvestman's shirt and stroking the skin he had no right to touch. There was nothing tender to it; he seemed to be searching for something, the hand stilling near Harvestman's hip.  "I need you to stop me.'

Harvestman tilts his head up and tries to meet Charlie's eyes, but they remained blank and empty. As empty as Gabe's has been, he thinks, when he was forced to make that call. "Charlie, baby, I love you. I love you, and I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, for everything. If you can, don't look baby. Please don't look."

Brisbane pulled away, and Harvestman felt the point of his blade replace the hand on his skin. "Forgive me," he said softly.

"Get fucked," Harvestman snaps. He closes his eyes when the dagger slices through, but the pain of it pulls a cry from his lips he was trying so hard to hold onto. He hears Charlie scream and the gun go off, over and over, and he can't open his eyes to see why.

His legs are sliding out from under him, the floor feeling no different from air. There are hands on him now, a franic voice calling his name, but the pain is spreading too deep and he doesn't know how to make his body work again. "Arashi," he murmurs, his voice near gone. "Arashi..."


 
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Harvestman

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